Monday, August 31, 2009

Our Weekend

We had a nice weekend. The biggest news is that Will finally got his new Jeep!! We reserved it back in May and have been waiting for it to come in. It was a lease car through Will's step dads work so we had to wait for the reps other car to come in before we could go pick it up. It took a little longer than we had expected but are glad that the we finally have it! Of course I don't have a picture of it yet. Bad, bad me. It was in the shop Sunday for new tires and it's there tonight for a new windshield. I will get one up here soon.

Since Will and his parents headed out at 3:30am Saturday morning for the long journey to get the Jeep (they had to drive to Kenesaw Nebraska to pick it up) that left me with the boys all day. We went garage saling in the morning and spent much of the afternoon outside.Jake had a friend spend the night Saturday evening and and they had a fire in the back yard that lasted until Sunday evening. They spent most of their time out there. Here is a picture of Jake. He was pretty proud of himself because he made the most perfect cherry pie (we have these cookers, butter 2 pieces of bread, fill it with cherry pie filling and stick in the fire to cook) so I just had to take his picture. He referred to it as a "perfect bloggable moment".

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Learning about Monarchs

Friday I took Brodie to a Nature program put on by my sisters homeschool group and the Polk Country Conservation. We learned about butterfly's and moths, focusing mainly on Monarch butterflys. It was pretty interesting and Brodie did a really good job paying attention considering how long it was.

We learned alot and then got the chance to go out and catch some butterflys of our own. Nobody caught any Monarchs that day but Uncle Mark was also there and he showed the kids how it was done and caught a butterfly.Brodie wasn't much of a fan of the tall grass so we just walked around the outside of the praire trying to see if we could catch anything. Brodie actually had more fun catching tiny crickets.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Butterfly Wall

Now that the big boys are back in school I am trying to get the little boys back into a routine as well. We are working on the letter "B" this week. We are learning about butterflies. We made this fun craft and replaced the scene on our wall. I loved the watercolor flowers but it was time for a change! I used this template here for the butterflies. We painted them with watercolor paints. For the tree I just taped 4 pieces of green construction paper together and cut out the tree. So the kids could be involved, I gave them green markers to draw leaves on it. I cut the trunk out and did the same, giving them brown markers to color it making it look like bark.
Linked to Showcase Friday at Ramblings of a Crazy Woman.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Starting Off the New School Year

Today was the first day of school for the older boys. 6th and 8th grade. Both in Junior High. They both got up promptly at 6am and were ready to go by 6:30. Their bus comes at 7am. There was no nagging or dragging this morning. We will see how long the excitement lasts!

Brodie did pretty well. I thought he would have a tough time since he has been Tony's shadow most of the summer. He woke up in time to see them get on the bus. He waved good bye from the window.I kept him pretty busy today so I think that kept his mind off the boys being gone all day. Doesn't he look so big sitting at the computer? It is amazing how well he can work the mouse already.Drew came down with a gastro bug yesterday afternoon. He didn't sleep well last night. Today when it was time for nap he actually asked me to tuck him in and he never left his bed. If you know Drew, you know that he NEVER sleeps in his bed. He was really tired. He slept for almost 3 hours! He felt much better after he woke up.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Henry Doorly Zoo

Will and I took the kids on a little over night vacation to end off Summer break. We went to Omaha to the Henry Doorly Zoo. We had a great time. We left Thursday afternoon and stayed in a hotel. The kids played in the pool and we watched a movie and had snacks in the room.

Friday morning we got up and had breakfast and then headed off to the Zoo. We managed to make it through the entire Zoo before it closed. It took us 6 1/2 hours, and we walked the entire time! Needless to say I had some tired kiddos by the end of the day. They were all troopers though.

Here are a few pictures to share. Ok, alot of pictures. Out of 139 pictures these are some of my favorites!

Here is our hotel room. This was the first time Brodie and Drew have stayed in a hotel. When we got there Brodie thought it was "really cool" after checking out the beds he said "now let's go see the living room" I had to explain to him that there was no living room.
The boys, minus Brodie at the pool.Yes, this is nasty. These are cockroaches!Brodie's favorite...the monkey.The had a really cool Butterfly garden. This is an Owl Butterfly.These hummingbirds were also in the butterfly garden.One of my favorites, the Lemur.They had this place where you could feed the birds and you could try and get them to climb on your stick. It was actually really hard to do. Will and I couldn't catch one. But Tony did. Here is Tony's catch. This was the highlight of his day. Everyones favorite part of the day was the aquarium tunnel. It was just awesome. Sharks, stingray, turtles all sorts of fish swimming all around you. We could have spent all day in there.This picture is really bad, but I had to take it for my mother in law. It is a Puma. Her favorite animal. ;)Here is an albino aligator. Here is Drew Bug feeding the goats.A really bad photo op of the boys. They were in no mood to have their pictures taken. I really wanted one of my 4 monkeys and the Zoos 4 monkeys (I know they are gorillas, but oh well) I still took the picture anyway. This is my life. Drew talking to a crazy bird through the glass.I don't need to tell you what the next two pictures are.Ok, here are some silly shots. This is probably the best picture I have of Jake. He took lots of silly photos. He is a character. But this one we told him was going up on his graduation slide show.Here is Will and I having a serious conversation with an orangatang.Here are the boys mounted on their trusty rhino looking for trouble. And I will end with a nice family photo...awwww...gotta love the self timer!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Here is what I picked out of the garden yesterday. I picked my first cantaloupe of the season. 4 of them! I picked another 4 tonight. They are delicious. I just love home grown cantaloupe. We go through them pretty quick. I cut up 2 of them for breakfast this morning.

We had a nice evening last night. We spent it at the park with the younger 3 kids. The boys rode their bikes and scooters around, played on the playground and in the sand and tried to catch frogs in the pond. Typical boy stuff. Will was off today so we went to the Science Center. The kids always love going there and we figured we would make one last trip there before school started back up. We took our own picnic lunch and our admission was free thanks to a wonderful Christmas gift from Grandpa Dave and Grandma Anita. All we paid was $4 for parking. Gotta love that!

Monday, August 17, 2009

I got the boys registered for school yesterday. It seems really crazy that school will be starting in 1 week. Both older boys will be in Junior High this year. That makes me sad, scared and excited.

Brodie is going to be lost without Tony. It is going to be hard for us all to adjust to the quietness around here during the day with the older children gone. I am not sure if I look forward to it or not.

I am wanting to start a preschool program with Brodie but not really sure where to start. I have lots of different ideas going through my head. I know it doesn't have to be anything formal. He will be 4 years old in 6 weeks. He could start regular preschool but I have decided to keep him home. He will be a late starter for Kindergarten since he misses the cut off. He will start when he is 6 years old. So, he still has 2 years left before starting school.

Last year we just started with the letter A and worked our way through the alphabet and he really learned so much. I plan to follow this same plan. I think that worked really well for us.

I am just going to do what I can with Brodie since Drew is really the only thing holding us back. Drew is 33 months old and shows absolutely no interest in sit down activities. He does like to play with his tools, play-doh, and blocks for for very short periods of time. Every time I try and practice colors, letters or numbers with him he is totally not interested.

I have lots and lots of crafts and activites planned that I can't wait to get started on and share with everyone.

I look forward to getting on some sort of routine with all of the kids. It will be nice to get back into a groove. Summer is nice because it is so relaxed. But, I am more of a schedule followerer!

My First Watermelon

Here is a picture of the first watermelon plucked from my garden!

As you can see I was a little premature. It wasn't completely ripe yet. We still cut it up and enjoyed it though.Brodie really wanted to have his picture taken with it but it was quite a struggle holding it! It was really heavy.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Day at the Beach

The kids and I spent part of the day at the beach yesterday. It was beautiful out. There was a really nice breeze so it didn't feel hot at all even though the temperature neared 90.

Tony sat on the shore doing his thing building a sand castle. Brodie helped for awhile before he realized that Jake was playing "shark" in the water. Then he decided to go join in with the other boys.Jake, Drew and Brodie played for the rest of the time before stopping for lunch. We ate lunch on towels on the beach, swam a little more before heading home for naps!

Getting Things Done

I feel like I have been on a whirl wind of productivity lately. I was down last week with a migraine and after a couple days of being quiet I usually tend to bounce back at high speed trying to catch up. Probably not such a good thing but I like getting things done. Here are just a few things we accomplished the last few days.

*We had a successful reunion/surprise birthday party for my mother on Saturday.
*Will got his new smoker put together that he got for his birthday. It is really nice!
*We bought a dehumidifier for Jacobs room in the basement and it is working great, pumping out a ton of water. I wish we would have gotten it 2 months ago.
*I weeded my entire garden Monday night.
*I scrubbed my kitchen floor. If you saw it, you would know this was major! Canning peaches and salsa, smoking 6 pork butts and pulling all the meat...not good.
*We have canned salsa twice so far and we are going to be doing another batch tonight or tomorrow.
*I bought a new to me, smaller dresser for Drew at a garage sale. I sold the changing table :( I guess he is no longer a baby! This one fits so much better in their room. They have a lot more space. I put it on Craigslist and it was paid for and gone within 24 hours!

Like I said it has been busy around here. Seems like the list never gets shorter though!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Me...Drew, Did you do this to the cupcakes?
Me...Did you eat the frosting off the cupcakes Drew?
Drew...What frosting?
Me...Drew did you do this to the cupcakes?
Drew...Nope, not me.
Me...How did you get frosting on your nose?
(Click on picture of Drew)

Strawberry Patch

A gift from my husbands Aunt Marie. 16 strawberry starts.The old strawberry patch.The new strawberry patch.Last Monday I spent the better part of the day digging up 18 more inches of sod to make room for more strawberry plants! My husbands aunt was thinning her plants out and I couldn't turn any away so I made room for more!

They are looking a little on the sickly side so I am hoping they will spring back to life by next year.

My goal is to dig a trench all the way around the berries and put wood around to enclose the patch. This will contain the patch in a big wooden "box". Then I want to put some sort of stepping stone through the middle so I have something to step on so that I can pick the berries with out squishing them. Then, maybe I can roll some chicken wire over the top of it to keep the deer out.

Another project for Fall. After my chicken coop, of course :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Homemade Penny Banks

Items needed for your homemade penny bank include...
-container with plastic lid (we used a frosting container)
-markers, crayons, paints
-construction paperFirst we measured our containers and cut the paper according to size. The kids decorated the paper with shapes and markers. Then we glued them onto the outside of the container. Allow them to dry. Slit a hole in the lid and add your change!
Linked to Friday Showcase at Ramblings of a Crazy Woman.